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Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Fragments in Switzerland: Some Highlights of the Discoveries

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Chapter Summary

An array of medieval Hebrew manuscript fragments have been discovered since 2010 in university, cantonal or municipal libraries as well as state, city and town archives throughout Switzerland. This chapter presents a selection of fragments preserved in Geneva, Fribourg, Solothurn and Zurich, containing portions of liturgical and biblical texts, thus highlights the contents of the majority of other fragments found in other locations in Switzerland. The study of Scripture in pre-crusade Ashkenaz was an important part of rabbinic culture and a pre-requisite for Talmudic commentaries, piyyut compositions and commentaries on piyyut literature (parshanut ha-piyyutim). On a codicological level, the reason for finding fragments of one Hebrew manuscript in two different works is the fact that both the manuscript and the printed book were bound in the 16th century by the same workshop in Fribourg.

Keywords: Ashkenaz; Fribourg; Geneva; medieval Hebrew manuscript fragments; piyyut; Solothurn; Switzerland



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